So with my enjoyment of the Youtube channel Ask A Mortician, I picked up her first book – Smoke Gets in Your Eyes by Caitlin Doughty. It is definitely not a book for the squeamish, though this book is not massively graphic. This memoir documents Caitlin’s journey from childhood all the way to her finding her calling as Ask the Mortician and the Order of the Good Death.
She has an amazing talent with gallows humour and is able to tell stories with vivid characters. You really do journey with her, learn with her and feel with her as Caitlin recounts some truly human moments. There is a feeling like you are now so much more intimate a friend with her after this book, and I love that.
This book specifically deals with how death and the funeral industry is run in California. She deals with all sorts of questions in regards to fears, to the process, and options available. Keep in mind a portion of this story is based in a crematory.
This is the person who has led me to consider how do we treat our dead and how do I want my remains to be treated. She asks and tries to give answers to fundamental questions of the why, how, where, who, and what will be done. What are our options? How can we think about things differently? How can we be prepared for these moments?
I would totally recommend this book and just as strongly her youTube channel HERE. Questions of mortality and how our culture, and other cultures deal with this is so important. Zander and I have even watched videos together and discussed them. Caitlin has a real flair with being sensitive and compassionate even with her humour and laughter.